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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Chuck Hagel 16, Hagel 15, Georgia 10, Decatur 7, South Africa 7, Mccain 7, Lindsey Graham 6, Us 6, America 5, Oscar 5, Harry Reid 4, Graham 4, Washington 4, Benghazi 3, U.s. 3, Msnbc 3, Andrea Mitchell 3, Ayotte 3, John Brennan 3, Rome 2,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    February 14, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00pm EST  

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shop, where we pray, where our children go to school. take it from me, congress must act. let's get this done. >> under arrest today. shocking developments in south africa where 2012 olympic star, double amputee oscar pistorius has been charged in the shooting death of his girlfriend. >> and back to school. president obama outside this hour. you see live pictures there from deindicate you are, fworj george, where the president is pushing for early childhood education for 4-year-olds. live coverage coming up. democrats nowak knowledge they don't yet have the 60 votes to break that republican filibuster. it's shocking that my republican colleagues would leave the nation without -- >> and that hagel hostage. the filibuster is a valentine's
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day spoiler for departing secretary leon panetta. >> the second best valentine's present would be to allow sylvia and i to get the hell out of town. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell life in washington. the national rifle association has now launched a counter offensive against the president's emotional appeal at the state of the union. to put an end to gun violence. in a column published yesterday on a conservative web blog wayne lapierre from the nra announced a four-year communications and resistance movement, his words, to block what he calls a siege from the enemies of the second amendment. in washington to hear the president's appeal we'll be talking to mark kelly moments from now, but, first, to that breaking muse out of south africa rsh olympic sprinter oscar pistorius made sporting history by becoming the first
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track athlete double amputee to compete in the games, but today the blade runner as he is known, is charged with murder after his girlfriend was fatally shot in his home in pretoria, south africa. joining me -- for rock center. mary, this is -- this could not be more shocking. tell us what we know about the events and how this comports with what you know of this famed athlete. >> andrea, i'm heart sick over this, that this beautiful woman is gone and that oscar pistorius, he is one of the iconic figures in the london games this summer. a couple of months before this last summer's olympics i was -- i got to spend almost a week with oscar at his home at the place where this horrible incident occurred. it looked like it was a very good neighborhood. oscar certainly did have guns, and he used to talk about how, you know, at night he has got no legs. he kept guns in his bedroom and he obviously worried about that. i guess the gun problem in south
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africa is every bit as worse as it is in this country, maybe even more so. what we know so far is that he is in custody, and that there are reports that perhaps it was valentines day already in south africa when this happened. there are reports that maybe he thought that his girlfriend was a burglar, but those reports are not coming from the police, and they're adamant about that. we do also know that shots were heard and that there have been -- the police admit -- will say there have been domestic reports -- violence reports from that address in the past. it is so incongruace to think about oscar in that way. i think that he is one of the great champions i've ever known, born without legs. he was in the able-bodied olympic this is past summer. many of the, the man who took the gold medal for the 400 meter race that oscar was in, he did something very touching and very
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beautiful. not usually done in track. he exchanged bids with oscar afterward because he so respected oscar. the whole world did. so as i said, i'm heart sec over this. >> i know i remember your piece, and i remember also in watching the games and watching james hand that metal over afterwards. i mean, all of this has been, first of all, so important to people who are born with disabilities or are injured and watching the blade runner, as he is known. if you recall back when george bush was president, there was an iraq war double amputee who ran with the president on the track on the south grounds. i mean, there's just such a movement. >> i remember -- >> yes. and oscar was doing all sorts of good back in his own country. there's still all kinds of land mines that are left from civil wars that continue on in south africa. oscar had developed this mobile lab, these vans that could go
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out and fit people for $200. you know, doctors that could phyte fit people with new prosthetics so they ka walk again. he was doing so much good. he was absolutely loved by blacks and whites in south africa, which meant a lot to him. and that's why, again, it's so hard to imagine. when i first met oscar, i was so struck by how soft his voice was. i mean, he was so soft-spoken and very modest and to think that he could -- and, again, we don't yet know what has happened, but the idea of him acting out in some kind of, you know, rage is just hard for me to comprehend from the little i know of him, but this is a guy who he liked fast cars, he liked fast boats, he liked to move fast. i mean, i think he, you know determine had an awful -- he was proving himself an awful lot and to think that perhaps something has gone horribly wrong is just hard to take. he was one of the shining lights
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of the olympic games. he really was. >> and, of course, the -- his girlfriend, her name was reeva steenkamp, and that is the horror of this loss. it's also an inexplicable event to understand the human heart, the mind, and all the pressures and then we get back to guns. >> we always end up going back to guns, don't we? i need to -- until i know everything that's happened, i really want to believe that this was a god awful tragedy that he thought he was being burglarized, but, again, the plus aren't putting out that story. it's traveling an awful lot and reeva we've seen tweets that reeva had sent out the day before valentine's day saying, you know, she was looking forward to valentine's day and what is a good surprise with all of this. we'll learn more, but andrea, this guy, you know -- i get to know ae lot of athletes, and
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this one moved me so much to think that something this tragic has happened, it's, again -- i'm still kind of reeling from the whole thing. it's an awful, awful thing. >> well, it was very clear from your profile on him for rock center just how much that experience meant, how much it moved you. he is an iconic figure in south africa. >> yes. >> we'll be looking to all of your reports on "nightly news" and continuing. thank you for joining us today. >> me too. >> we have live pictures from a community center in decatur, georgia, to highlight his proposal to expand pre-k education to 4-year-olds. the top challenge right now facing the white house is the hagel kwimation. they're nowak knowledging today they are losing ground on this the chuck hagel nomination to be secretary of defense. as of right now democrats cannot count on 60 votes to cut off that republican filibuster.
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tomorrow the vote is spefd to take place to move forward on confirmation if they can get 60 votes. joining me for our daily fix, chris, msnbc contributor and managing editor of post politics.com and capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. you're watching it all from up there. what do we know? harry reid was on the floor today talking about it. we know that he needs five republicans to break, and there is a distinction between those who might be willing to vote for cloture to break the filibuster, but would still plan to vote against him when he would only at that point need just 50 to be confirmed, 51 to be confirmed. >> there is a lot of drama in this, andrea, and it gets complicated. it does come down to that. there are many more republicans that would beotology in the first step support ending the debate, taking the actual vote and then voting against hagel because everyone knows he already has publicly enough votes to be confirmed. we're in this period now where the drama is unfolding over a couple of key things.
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a group of republicans want information on two subjects. part of that coming from hagel related to past speeches, financial details, that they feel they did not get enough of during his confirmation process and the hearing where many people even his supporters say he did not perform well. in separate from that there are a group of senators who want more information about benghazi and this is a leverage point. by upholding or delaying the hagel vote, they hope to extract more from the white house. democrats tell me they do expect something more to come from the white house. no specifics there on what it would be or would it satisfy some of the concerns. what we also don't know are which republicans who had publicly said they would go forward with the procedural step and now would not. democrats tell me they don't have those names. republicans are being very coy about that, and so there is a question. will a vote be taken tomorrow? it could be. harry reid could do that. not knowing the outcome. then the other scenario, which is gaining some sort of talking
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here is if they could extend it because congress is away next week and have the vote effectively a week from monday. give it a little more time. politically that's not so good for democrats. republicans would welcome that extra time. those who don't want to see hagel confirm think maybe in the intervening time something might surface that would tore meade pedohis nomination. this is a numbers game. this is a positioning game. trying to get more information. hagel is at the center of it, but it's about much more than just chuck hagel. andrea. >> let me just interject also, kelly, that there is an issue here. the defense ministers meet at nato next week in brussels. they want chuck hagel, the administration wants chuck hagel, the new defense secretary to be leading this going forward. they don't want to have to ask leon panetta, who is still the defense secretary, to go and lead the delegation as a lame-duck. chris, this gets to entrance, and that's why, among other reasons, the white house is so frustrated, and those who have been raising these benghazi issues are really holding the white house hostage on when did
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the president call and was he up all night? those are the kinds of questions they've been asking. hagel had nothing to do with benghazi. >> absolutely true, andrea, but i would say, look, this is -- kelly used the phrase leverage point, and whether you like it or not, that's what republicans view this as. i would say that the white house has two very clear choices. they either say okay, we will give until, though we disagree with it, and we're on the record as saying there's no more to be here. we will give in in some way and give lindsay graham more of what he wants if not all of what he wants, more of what he wants as it relates to the specific timeline on benghazi, and then almost certainly the hagel nomination goes forward, or we will not and to be honest, andrea, the way that politics works, i'm not sure that if there isn't -- harry weed comes out and says there's going to be a vote foam, if they put it off, they go out of session for a week and come back. i don't know if chuck hagel is
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able politically only, politically speaking only, to survive that. i think that's the calculation the white house is making right now as if you don't give in in some regard you clearly imperil chuck hagel's no, ma'am nation. not to say you doom it, but you imperil it because it makes that 60 votes harder to get to. if have you to put it off, politics being -- politics as a vacuum, you'll have more and more doubt flood in the longer you delay thee thipgsz. they know all this, and i think they'll probably try to decide. should they give something to lindsey graham, and what should it be? >> is there much to give i should add? >> well, it wib timeline or something of presidential involvement, which is beyond the scope of what would normally be the confirmation process. the other issue that was raised by ted cruz and some of the other hagel critics was what money he may have made in private speeches and the suggestion that cruz made publicly that he may have taken money from rogue regimes which there doesn't seem to be any
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foundation for that. that's what inspired john mccain, kelly, who is a critic of hagel's to come back to his defense against this freshman senator from texas who is raising the suggestion that he had taken money even from pyongyang or from iran. >> well, what's interesting about mccain's position here is that he has said very clearly that he does not believe that chuck hagel was the right choice in this instance. he believes his performance at his hearing was poor. he took real issue with his fellow republican ted cruz of texas and said that chuck hagel is an honorable man and wanted to defend him in this process. where it gets harder for mccain is that lindsey graham is perhaps his greatest ally in the senate, and he believes that there are legitimate questions about benghazi still to be answered. not so much looking at the past, although politically that's what they want to do. also trying to make sure that they understand what's going on with some of these issues as they may pertain to future hot spots. mccain is not jumping to the ted
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cruz bandwagon, but i would surmise that he wants to be protective of lindsey graham politically. he is a pivotal figure in this. he doesn't support filibusters. he has not said today what his position is. in fact, he told us that negotiations are continuing between the white house, between the parties, so this is sort of an active situation where decisions are being made, where arm-twisting may be going on. we don't know where it ends up. we do know that right now ultimately hagel has the votes to be confirmed, but this is a treacherous time in the fate of his nomination because of these other sort of political hot points that immediate to be dealt with. >> you guys hang in and stay with me for just a moment because coming up, we're going to go to decatur, georgia. president obama campaigning for his universal pre-k plan. we have kristen welker there, and live coverage just minutes from now, and also we're going to be talking to mark kelly about the gun law issue.
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tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and a trading specialist tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 will help you get started today. we are talking to chris calizza and managing editor of post politics.com. kelly o'dom on the hill, and nbc white house correspondent kristen welker in decatur, georgia. what is the white house saying about the hagel situation? >> well, at this hour, andrea, they are, of course, watching this with some concern, but they still believe that ultimately they will have enough votes to get hagel confirmed, as kelly pointed out. it is a numbers game. if you talk to them about the numbers, they think they have about 55 democrats and independents together.
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about two republicans and so they think ultimately they will be able to get over that 60 vote threshold. again, some trepidation when this all started to evolve yesterday when it became leer this was going to become a cloture vote. they are watch this quite closely, and as you point out, the president quite anxious to get his nominee confirmed. there is a lot of business on the horizon that he needs to be engaged with. andrea. >> kelly o'donnell, when we talk about those numbers, they need 60 votes, so they have the majority, but how do they get to 60? >> one of the issues is trying to package this from a republican perspective on a way that it does not make them look like they are filibustering a top cabinet official for the sake of it. they are trying to extract more information now to make a more fully informed decision later. we were just told by lindsey graham that he is a no if the vote is tomorrow, but would be open to voting yes on cloture,
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meaning to go forward after the recess. he is putting down his marker. we saw today rob portman of ohio who had not been publicly on the record, but he himself had been a top cabinet official in the bush administration which gives you a sense that he understands this from both sides. today he is saying a no tomorrow, lots for manufacturings, and would likely vote for that next step. we're seeing this sort of trying to find a middle space. to not appear to be just ob strakting, but to try to make an argument which may appeal to republicans, certainly won't appeal to democrats about what they're trying to get. as we've talked about the danger is hanging in the wind for chuck hagel is nott a good thing. if his sort of political adversaries and outside groups that have wanted to torpedo his nomination and try to find something more that they think could be politically explosive, they're certainly working at that. we have no indication that that's coming. it's not just about chuck hagel. trying to get answers on
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benghazi means there is a different faction of republicans who are holding this up. they've also said they will do this regarding john brennan who would be the choice to lead the cia. he would be much more directly involved in the benghazi matter, but this is a way to try to pressure the administration to provide information that congress believes it has a right to have. now, the white house could certainly argue that what the president was doing or what time he went to bed, those sorts of questions, are sort of under an executive privilege. they don't have to tell them about that. it does have a political question. how engaged was the president once he was notified at 5:00 p.m. by secretary panetta that there was an unfolding assault happening in benghazi. those are things that came out through recent testimony through panetta, and the joint chiefs chair that had he had not spoken to the president again after initially informing hem. that created a new sort of political oxygen for republicans who want to know if there was a missing ambassador, what was the president doing, and, of course, the white house says that he was being properly informed by his
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national security team and so forth, but there are questions they want to know. crediting the president, they say, for being so hands-on during the osama bin laden raid wanting to know with was he as hands on when an american ambassador was missing and an unknown assault was taking place. those are the questions. they've created a lot of heat. lindsey graham, who was a big proponent of this fight, is up for re-election in south carolina in 20 14. his re-election politics are a part of this story. he has said that he fought the republican bush administration on issues about the iraq war, take on the obama administration now to get more answers, and so there we are. it is a case of decisions that neat to be made by harry reid and leader mcconnell about when to take a vote, will these questions be satisfied? it's not just a clean republicans think this or that. there are differing views within the gop camp about what to do next. >> chris, there is the issue that kelly was just raising
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about other stuff coming out because everyone, all of he's figures and chuck hagel was out of office for quite some time. he has a record. he has speeches. speeches can be taken out of context. you don't speak in a particular way as carefully when you're not a member of the cabinet or not thinking you're going to be appointed to the cabinet. so every day there's a drip, drip, drip. i've been seeing the emails. you stheem as well of people saying he spoke here and there and he said about this israel there. at the same time the white house is making it very clear that they have provided a lot of information. now there are indications they may have to provide yet more information about benghazi. josh was just on the plane going down to georgia this morning and pointing out just how much they've already provided to the hill on this confirmation. >> well, to your point, andrea, this is why i believe the idea that and you're seeing kelly mention. rob portman saying he would be a no on cloture, which means it would not advance to a full
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floor vote. it would be a yes down the line. lindsey graham a no tomorrow, but yes down the line. i'm not sure it gets to down the line. the reality is it's not just you've made the exact right point. it's a drip, drip, drip, and it's court natured. there is a coordinated attempt to keep chuck hagel from the nomination in a way you don't really see with john brennan. there's not a group out there that is organized against a john brennan. there clearly is against chuck hagel and has been from the beginning. the longer he takes out there without a vote, the worse it is. i would compare it -- andrea, i think it's good to take a step back here. if this does go sideways on the obama administration, we will now have had two of his major -- the people he wanted. we know from the start he wanted susan rice to be secretary of state, and that became politically untenable over benghazi. he knew that the hagel no, ma'am nation was going to be potentially problematic, but he wanted chuck hagel, and he
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picked him, and now it is running into trouble over what? many things, hagel included, but also benghazi. it's a remarkable moment for a president who has just been re-elected, who has won legislative fights on things like the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling that he has not been able to get his picks through, and i think the longer the hagel thing sits out there, andrea, the more danger it is -- dangerous it is for chuck hagel's chances. >> can i just point out -- >> i'm being told that the white house council has sent a letter. >> i have the letter here. >> very good. tag teaming. >> the letter from katherine rumler, to senators mccain, graham, and ayotte says she is trying to address concerns that have been raised by you and the armed services committee in connection with the nomination. she quotes extensively from the review board, remember the review board from pickering and admiral mueller, which said that there simply was not enough time for a military response. then she says this intensive
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response, which was directedly the president, included 13 meetings of interagency principles and deputies within a week of the attack. of course, this does not address their concerns about what was happening in the hours, the seven hours between the initial attack and when the second attack started and the three other americans were killed. this administration, she writes, has cooperated with the armed services committee, the congress to provide an extensive amount of information. senior administration officials have participated in 20 member and staff briefings, ten congressional hearings, six witness interviews and have responded to over 40 benghazi related enquiries from congress producing 10,000 pages of documents. we look forward to continuing our cooperation with the committee moving forward. we continue to urge the full senate to act swiftly and confirm former senator hagel as the next secretary of defense. this is from the white house, the two-page letter from the white house counsel kwhfs sent to the three senators today. we also know, kelly, that
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senator mccain outside the caucus room in the senate said that they are working on trying to work this out, but when asked about how this is according to harry reid, an unprecedented filibuster of defense nominee, he is pointing out to the failure to confirm the former chairman of the armed services committee senator tower which i covered back in 1989 which sam nooun was one of the leaders in democratic opposition to senator tower. >> yes. >> there could be a lot of history around about that, and some have longer memories of who did what when. that is a part of it. it strikes me that the two-page letter is a response that might not be an answer. it's a way for the white house to look like it is engaged, it is providing a lot of detail that had been previously mn. the we is will it satisfy mccain, graham, and ayotte, who were specifically wanting to know more about what the president was directly involved in. one of the questions that graham had repeatedly pressed panetta and joint chiefs chair dempsey
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about when this began, no one knew how long the assault would last, so the argument that the military could not get there fast enough is true. they could not get there within the time of the assault, but no one knew how long it would actually last until it was over, so their point being how engaged was the president, was the white house in trying to get other resources? they also made the claim that there might have been other kinds of military assets that could have also come from another location. a lot of that has been worked through and that straightive review board document that has looked at this. there's been a lot of acknowledgment from the department of defense and state that mistakes had been made, that there was not a sufficient attention given to the appeal from the late ambassador stevens about his own safety. they gave a lot of reasons why that happened and changes that will make because of it. in part, they said on the night this occurred, which was the anniversary of september 11th, there were close to 300 threats
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around the world they were monitoring, and there had been nothing specific in terms of intelligence to tell them that the benghazi location was at risk. many terms of the 2020 hindsight in terms of what changes they are making, there's a lot going on. what mccain, graham, and ayotte have been focused on is did the president fully engage to try to get as many resources there? what did they know at the time? a lot of questions that will be probably impossible to answer, but that's where they want to shine the light right now. >> chris, the president is coming out now in decatur, georgia, and clearly he will be speaking about early childhood education, but at this point he has a defense nominee in trouble, and he works his way to the podium. he is also in this letter from his counsel reviewing what the review board said, which is that quite to the contrary, the safe evacuation of all u.s. government personnel from benghazi 12 hours after the initial attack and squintly to ramstein air force base in germany was the result of
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exceptional u.s. government coordination and military response and helped save the lives of two severely wounded americans. here is the president. >> it is great to be in georgia. great to be in decatur. you know, i can't imagine a more romantic way to spend valentine's day than with all of you, with all the press here, and actually michelle says hello. she made me promise to get back in time for our date tonight. that's important. that's important. i have already got a gift. i got the flowers. i was telling folks the flowers are a little easier, though, because i got this rose garden. a lot of people keeping flowers around. i want to -- i want to
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acknowledge a few people that are here. first of all, congressman hank johnson is here. your mayor logic baskette is here. another mayor you may know, kasim reid, snuck in here. i want to acknowledge the decatur school board, and, of course, i want to thank mary for the wonderful introduction and for teaching me how to count earlier today. it was wonderful to be there. i want to thank the teachers and administrators of decatur city
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schools because behind every child who is doing great, there's a great teacher. i'm proud of every single one of you for the work that you do here today. on tuesday i delivered my state of the union address, and i laid out a plan for reigniting what i believe is the true engine of america's economic growth, and that is a thriving, growing, rising middle class. that also means ladders for people to get into the middle class. and the plan i put forward says we need to make smart choices as a cult. both to grow our economy, shrink our deficit in a balanced way. by cutting what we don't need, but then investing in the things that we do need to make sure that everybody has a chance on get ahead in life. what we need is to make america a magnet for new jobs by
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investing in manufacturing and energy, better roads and bridges and schools. we've got to make sure hard work is rewarded with a wage that you can live on, to raise a family on. we need to make sure that we've got shared responsibility for giving every american the chance to earn the skills and education that they need for a really competitive, fwloebl job market. as i said on tuesday night, that education has to start at the earliest possible age, and that's what you have realized here in decatur. study after study.
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>> the kids we saw today that i had a chance to spend time with in mary's classroom, they're some of the lucky ones. fewer than three in ten 4-year-olds are in -- most middle class students can't afford private preschool at a few hundred bucks a week. for the poor children that need it the most the lack of access to a great preschool education can have an impact on their entire lives. we ail pay a price for that. this is not speculation. study after study shows the achievement gap starts off very young. kids who when they go in to kindergarten, their first day if they already have a lot fewer vocabulary words, they don't know their numbers and their
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shapes and have the capacity for focus, they're going to be behind that first day. kids aren't stupid. when they know they're behind at a certain point. then they start pulling back. they act like they're disinterested in school because they're frustrated that they're not doing as well as they should, and then you may lose them, and that's why on tuesday night i propose working with states like georgia to make high quality preschool available to every child in america. every child.
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>> every delay -- every dollar we invest in high quality early education can save more than $7 later on. boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, reducing violent crime. in states like georgia that have made it a priority to educate our youngest children, states like oklahoma, students don't just show up in kindergarten, first grade more prepared to learn, they're also more likely to grow up reading and doing math, graduating from high school, holding a job, even forming more stable families. now, hope is found in what works. this works. we know it works. if are you looking for a good bang for your educational buck, this is it. right here.
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so that's why even in times of tight budgets, states like georgia and oklahoma have worked to make a preschool slot available for nearly every parent who is looking for one for their child, and they're being staffed with folks like mary, qualified, highly educated teachers. this is not babysitting. all right? this is teaching. so at the age that our children are just sponges, soaking stuff in. their minds are growing fastest. what we saw in the classroom here today is, yeah, kids are taught numbers, they're taught shapes, and also how to answer questions and how to play well with others. the teachers were in the
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classroom. knee got a coach. they are coming in and working with them on best practices and how they can constantly prove improve what they're doing. then playing well with others is a trait we could use more in washington. maybe we need to bring the teachers up. every once in a while have some quiet time. time-out. so at the college childhood learning center that i visited earlier today, nearly 200 it is kids are spending full days learning in classroom with highly qualified teachers. and so i was working with them to build towers and replicate
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sculptures and sing songs and, look, i got to admit, i was not always the fastest guy on some of this stuff. the kids were beating me to the punch. through this interactive learning, they're learning math, writing, how to tell stories, and one of the things that you've done here in decatur system you have combined kids from different income levels. you've got disabled kids all in the same classroom, so we're all learning together. and awhat that means is all the kids are being levelled up. you're not seeing some of that same stratification that you see that lead to massive achievement gaps. before you know it, these kids are going to be moving on to bigger and better things in
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kindergarten and they're going to be better prepared to succeed. once more, i don't think you'll find a working parent in america who wouldn't appreciate the peace of mind that their child is in a safe high quality learning environment every single day. you know? michelle and i remember how tough it can be to find good and how expensive it can be too. the size of your paycheck, though, shouldn't determine your child's future. so let's fix this. let's make sure none of our kids start out the race of life already a step behind. let's make it a national priority to give every child access to a high quality early
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education. let's give our kids that chance. now, i do have to warn the parents who are here that still have young kids, they grow up to be like 5'10" and even if they're still nice to you, they basically don't have a lot of time for you on the weekends. they have sleepovers and dates. so thaul early investment just leads them to go away. now, what i also said on tuesday night is that our commitment to our kids' education has to continue throughout their academic lives. from the time our kids start grade school, we need to equip them with the skills they need to compete in a high-tech economy. that's why we're working to
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recruit and train 100,000 new teachers in the fields of the future, in science and technology and engineering and math where we are most leeblg to fuel behind. we've got to redesign our high schools so that a diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. we want to reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers and creates classes that focus on science and technology and engineering and math. all those things that help our kids fill those jobs that are there right now, but also in the future. and obviously once our kids graduate from high school, we have to make sure that skyrocketing costs don't price middle class families out of a higher education or saddle them -- or saddle them with unsustainable debt. i mean, some of the younger
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teachers who are here, they've chosen a career path that is driving, but let's face it, you know, you don't go into teaching to get rich. and it is very important that we make sure that they can afford to get a great education and can choose to be a teacher, can choose to be in a teaching profession. we've worked to make college more affordable for millions of students and families already through tax credits and grants and loans that go farther than before, but taxpayers can't keep subsidyizing every escalating price tags for higher education. at some point you would run out of money. so colleges have to do their part. colleges that don't do enough to keep costs in check should get less federal support. we're incentiveizing colleges to
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think about how to keep their costs down. yesterday we release aid new college score card that gives parents and students all the information they need to compare schools by value and affordability so that they can make the best choice, and anybody -- any interested parent, by the way, who is out there can check it out at white house.gov. now, in the end that's what this is all about. giving our kids the best possible shot at life. equipping them with the skills, education that a 21st century economy demands. giving them every chants to go as far as their hard work and god given potential will take them. that's not just going to make sure that they do well. that will strengthen our economy and our country for all of us because if their generation prospers, if they've got the skills they need to get a good
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job, that means businesses want to locate here, and it also means, by the way, they're well equipped as citizens with the critical thinking skills that they need in order to help guide our democracy. we'll all prosper that way. that's what we're fighting for. they're the ones that are going to write that next great chapter in the american story and we've got to make sure that we're providing that investment. i am so proud of every single teacher who is here who has dedicated their lives to making sure those kids get a good start in life. i want to make sure that i'm helping and i want to make sure that the country is behind you every step of the way. all right? thank you, everybody. god bless. god bless america. >> and there is the president as you have just seen in decatur, georgia. one reason he may be in a good mood is he is a tour of classrooms with a group of 4 and 5-year-olds. he was seated around tables, according to the white house reporters traveling with them, and they were working on ipads,
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and they were working on a game that he said sounded like i spy. one kid said are you our teacher and another kid said welcome, mr. president, and i have seen you on television. the fact that he spent a bit of today with a group of 4 and 5-year-olds in what seemdz to be a model program certainly improved his mood, and he is outside of washington. we'll be right back. first, though, some headlines as we have been reporting. 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members on that carnival cruiseliner, triumph, finally heading towards a port in mobile, alabama, after a horrendous trip. stranded at sea. little food, no electricity, long lines for food there is. no toilet facilities. disgusting conditions overall. since a fire crippled the ship on sunday. passengers will still have to head home once they get to mobile to galveston by either a charter flight tomorrow or those that don't want to wait any longer, buses tonight. sxwlirchlgts higher airfares are likely ahead for travellers if
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american airlines and u.s. airways manage to merge. they nounlsed that merger today creating potentially the world's largest airline in a deal valued at $11 billion. american's parent capital is under brups bankruptcy protection, and a court will have to approve the deal. u.s. airways shareholders and federal regulators also need to sign off on it. also on wall street today, warren buffett is leading an investment consortium to buy the h.j. heinze company. $28 billion value. john kerry is married to theresa heinze kerry whose trust divested all but 4% of their stock back in 1995. turns out, it wasn't two housekeepers in california who stumbled on that murder suspect. christopher dorner in a bear mountain cabin. it was a husband and wife. they were bound and gagged when they came home by the former policeman and are now speaking out about their terrifying
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experience. >> very insistent -- >> he didn't have a problem with us. he just wanted to clear his name. he said i don't have a problem with you so i'm not going to hurt you. >> and up next military honors for private citizen hillary clinton. you're watching andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. so delicious? because every flake is double-toasted... splashed with sweet honey... and covered in rich double-roasted peanuts. mmm. [ hero ] yummy. [ male announcer ] kellogg's crunchy nut. it's super delicious! we create easy-to-use, powerful trading tools for all. look at these streaming charts! they're totally customizable and they let you visualize what might happen next. that's genius! we knew you needed a platform that could really help you elevate your trading. so we built it. chances of making this? it's a lot easier to find out if a trade is potentially profitable. just use our trade & probability calculator and there it is. for all the reasons you trade options -
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and the defense department today, former secretary of state hillary clinton was awarded the pentagon's highest recognition for a civilian employee. clinton thanked the group for her valentine's day gift. we should note also for the first time since her accident in december, clinton did not have to wear those corrective lenses she's been using for impaired vision from her fall. >> in the future we will be looking to your suck -- to keep
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our nation strong, free and exceptional. >> and pope benedict xvi has given his final mass in a rare ovation from the people assembled at st. peter's kba silica. nbc's anne thompson is live with us in rome and i don't think we knew the full extent of the troubles he was experiencing in mexico, that final trip where he was in mexico and in cuba, we knew there were scandals in the church there, protests for lack of an apology. but now it turns out he took a fall in the middle of the night and hit his head? >> reporter: he did and it was after that trip when he wind chill factor to cuba that the pope made the decision he was going to retire and started setting the wheels in motion here for the announcement that
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came earlier this week. he apparently got up in the middle of the night, he actually cut his head, there was some blood in his hair, the vatican said. but the vatican spokesperson said today in a meeting with reporters said, look, don't read too much into that one incident. yesterday at the ash wednesday mass in st. peter's basilica is that this pope is suffering from the ravages of age, he was wheeled down the aisle and he had to be helped up to the altar. and? very humble man received a rock star like ovation. it was a prolonged standing ovation and when he exited the basilica, people got up out of their chairs as they tried to
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capture one last memento of this man's papacy. today he address a group of priests here in rome and he said at the beginning of the address, it's very clear he's comfortable with being a short timer now, he said look, because of my advanced age, i couldn't prepare a speech, but i'm just going to chat. he chatted for 45 minutes as to what will happen once he retires, he said he's going to spend his retirement hidden from the world. >> ann thompson, it's just been remarkable, you reporting on that mass yesterday, and the pictures coming out of there, and are we going to see him again? is there one more final 5audiene with this pope. >> we'll see him on wednesday before he retires and we'll see
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him this sunday and next sunday, he's not going to celebrate sunday mass publicly but he will read the angelus and we'll see what he has to say and they're expecting a big turn out for all of those events and his last audience will be in st. peter's square, they're going to move it out to st. peter's square because they expect so many people to be here. and then on his very last day, he will meet with his cardinals and then he will get into his helicopter and fly off. mark kelly is going to be with us on another occasion, we had a schedule problem today and of course the president's speech. and follow the show online and at andreamitchellreports.com.
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hi, everyone, i'm tamron hall, the republicans unprecedented filibuster for chuck hagel's unprecedent nomination. . >> the filibuster is unprecedent. i repeat not a single nominee for secretary of defense ever in the history of our country has been filibustered. never, ever. >> senator reid needs five republican senators to join in tomorrow's vote or else the nomination will be in limbo. speaking from air force one, press secretary josh ernest. said, quote, these fill -- according to